By Eleanor Young
Nov 8, 2015
One only needs to watch the evening news or scroll the endless facebook feed to see what is wrong with the world today. At every opportunity we are given a choice on whether to see goodness or something which could leave us rendered with despair, heartbroken and down trodden. We wonder often why we bother, what difference do we make?
We find ourselves now on the cusp of a rapidly changing world, one which seems awash with greed, distrust, imbalance and disconnection. In this time it seems now that seeing the beauty in life is no longer an easy thing. Yet it is not just a throw-away new-age thought but a necessary skill to be cultivated now more than ever before. A skill which we must add to our tool box in order to evolve in consciousness, make connections and to make good with the earth and with each other.
It is an absolute truth that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It all comes down to perception and attitude yet goes deeper than that. Most of us all have the inner wisdom to feel what resonates as beautiful, good and sacred in this life. It is drawn up from the well of our souls and like finger prints, individual to us all and simply requires tapping back into. This is what keeps us dreaming and creating new ways of being. We need to want this more. We need to ache for beauty and it's moving and inspiring qualities.
We need to know that we are all worthy of it and the sharing in it together. Because finding beauty is now imperative. It is the antidote, the remedy with which to stave off the nothingness, the desperate, the bleak and world weary feelings and change for the better.
Yet it would be impossible to speak to seeking beauty without also understanding darkness in life. Our hollow losses and tidal despairs. Our deepest grief and the most crushing heartbreaks. We must be afforded enough time and space to honor the processes of these experiences which have the potential to bring us to our knees and change us forever. We must create connected supportive communities which surround each other with respect and love and honor the space needed to navigate the myriad of life's experiences. To be able to witness the transformative and powerful beauty present in the full cycle of life, involving birth, death and rebirth, no matter how challenging. There is beauty in the darkness and life and we cannot have one without the other.
How do we do this?
We pay attention. We pause. We get down to the root of things. We make friends with the heart of slow living and connect in with what's real and integral to our wellbeing. We return to earth care, people care and fair share. We reach out to each other, cultivate community and connection. We create a practice out of seeing the beauty in life and we give thanks for all that we have.
Gratitude invariably is the foundational cornerstone which helps us see great beauty in the micro and macro. In yoking nature and humanity we can see profound beauty in the smallest and largest actions. In the faces of people from all walks of life, all ages and stages, the relationships, the loves, challenges and joys. In the unfurling of the fern, chirp of the scrub wren, the humbling toss and tumble of the ocean's waves. They all call to us to honor them and give thanks. They all ask us to show up and really see them.
In cultivating a practice of slow living and gratitude, we see beauty everywhere. We witness it in the most glorious sunrise, the smell of one's newborn baby, a lover's touch, pulling roots from the earth, warm eggs from the nest or the sprouting seed. Almost all these minute occurrences are mundane and yet sacred and undeniably beautiful if we view them as so. Slowing down we can realize that the world that seems harsh and cruel is also capable of such incredible abundance, dynamic connection and creativity and from there is immeasurable possibility potential. We see this when we change the perspective.
Seeing beauty is essential now more than ever before and it offers itself up to you, time and time again, patiently waiting for you take note and become attentive. We must make an alliance with beauty in order to take the inspired action so needed in the world. In the words of Emerson, "Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not."
As a culture we simply must shift the way in which we view our experiences, our perceptions and hold space in our observations and interactions. Every moment is a gift. Now is the time to overgrow the old paradigm. It is time for the outdated ways to fall away as we begin again, moving forward with a new way of thinking. We must use this new skill to view our experiences as opportunities transform beyond measure and connect with our communities and our earth. We need to keep dreaming the big dreams needed to create real and tangible change. We must rise up and be the medicine needed in this world. Begin with seeing beauty.